"Loving Well" Women's Retreat

My Mom and I with my cousin Jenny

Proof that women can sucessfully parallel park without our husbands...go Rhonda!

My Mom and I on our balcony on a windy, fall day

The beautiful lake view from our room...Northern Minnesota at its finest!

A bucket of gorgeous fall flowers from my hospitality breakout session

Part of the demo table from a floral arranging demonstration

I thought I'd post some fun pictures from the women's retreat I went to recently. It was a much needed break from my everyday routine, although it was sort of stressful because I led a breakout session. Our theme was "Loving Well" so I was asked to put together a session on the ministry of hospitality and how to make your house a home. The session(s) went very well, but it was alot of work to pull it off. I had to take tons of dishes and accessories and all of my floral tools, etc., so it made for a wicked packing adventure! Oh, and I was sick with a sinus infection! However, it was a fun way to use the talents God has given me and my years of floral design, not to mention my degree, for a godly purpose. It awakened some old desires in me to do more with the gifts God has blessed me with. More fun than all of that however, was that I got to go with my Mom and with my cousins, Jenny and Rhonda. We had so much fun laughing and being together...that's what makes a retreat so worthwhile! We also were so blessed to participate in a weekend designed by Beth Moore and her team. I love sitting under her teaching and I left with so much insight and a challenge to "love well." I'm kind of amazed at the timing of this was a little difficult to prepare, knowing and feeling like I was so empty, but I've also wondered if God didn't plan it that way? I think we often serve Him best when we're broken and completely dependant on Him. That's the blessing of tends to prompt your heart toward God's strength and not your own. I'm so happy that I was able to go to this retreat and I am already looking forward to the next one!


sheltonfamily said...

I can't read your blog without getting jealous. How do you have athletic talent and creative talent? Also, all the fall clothes etc... Ellie has yet to wear a long-sleeve shirt here? I have been wearing jeans, but that is only because my legs are so white! I love your flower arrangement and I'm sure the ladies got some awesome pointers from you! Hope you are having a good week. We are off to the fair today. I'm sure there will be some "blog worthy" pictures from today. Mike asked this morning "Do you think we can just get a fried sampler"?!

amy said...

Steph... it looks like you all had a great retreat! How fun that your mom was able to go with you! The flower arranging seminar looked like such fun... did you have a good turnout? hope so! you've been on our hearts so much lately...I LOVE reading your blog, since it challenges me to examine my own life and see how my faith is growing as well! Thank you for being so open and honest! God is using you for His glory!! Keep posting!!! :)

Katie said...

I found your blog by accident! I can't believe that we have let so much time go by without really staying in touch. I spent all afternoon reading your blog and feeling like I was catching up on your life. It has been so long! I was thinking back to our Minneapolis trip and getting lost on the way home, and you spilling your drink all over yourself and then having to change on the side of the road. :) Very funny! I'm sure that is a memory that you will love to have posted on your blog! :)
Steph, words can't describe how much sorrow I feel for you and Travis and your loss. I can't tell you that it must be hard, because that is a road that I haven't walked. But your journey is a blessing to me. I love you lots and can't wait to hear from you sometime!
P.S. We moved to Independence, IA this summer and we were living here when you dropped Travis off for RAGBRAI! Funny!

Shelly said...

Hello, my name is chelle, I am helping with this same retreat this spring with some ladies from my church. I was just wondering if you could tell me some of the things you did to make the retreat special for everyone. We are looking for an icebreaker and a small welcome gift we can give everyone. We are doing the retreat at a camp and there will be about 12 ladies coming. Any ideas you can give me would be great, thanks chelle